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Lupus And Osteoporosis Are Linked And Not In A Nice Way

Research indicates that lupus and osteoporosis fractures are linked through prolonged inflammation due to the use of certain medication.

A review published by Arthritis Care and Research (January, 2012) has reported that people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) experience increased risk of bone fractures.

Irene E.M. Bultink, M.D., Ph.D., from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands found that fracture occurrence was nearly five-fold higher in women with lupus. Vertebral fractures were found in 20-26% of patients with lupus, many of whom had normal bone mineral density as indicated in a bone scan.

As osteoporosis risk increases with prolonged use of glucocorticoid treatment, the following preventive measures are often recommended:

  • Adequate diet and exercise
  • Adequate calcium and vitamin intake
  • Prescription of immunosuppressive medications to reduce inflammation
  • Osteoporosis screening with bone density scans

The best calcium for osteoporosis will include all of the following ingredients within two tablets:

  • 1,200-1,500 mg Calcium
  • 800-2,000 IU of Vitamin D
  • 420 mg of Magnesium, and
  • 120 mcg. Vitamin K

The above calcium and vitamin D targets are recommended by national osteoporosis societies for women over the age of fifty and the vitamin K and magnesium targets are the upper levels recommended within the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) followed in the United States and Canada.

As vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, people living in northern regions are often encouraged to add high dose vitamin D to their program during the winter months when sunlight is not strong enough to produce the sunshine vitamin. Research has shown that vitamin K2 also supports bone quality and that strontium can both improve and protect bone density.

Lupus and osteoporosis fractures may be treated with inexpensive vitamins in some cases.